Day 1: We were second out on the field for the Open class. The out run was nice and the lift was alright. We really struggled to put them back on line for the fetch. He had to cover and hold pressure on his comebye side, it was a struggle on his weak side for 3 reasons. First he was not totally square, second he was stopping a hair short and third he kept giving and was a bit off contact. The drive was nice, he was a bit on the muscle and I had a tough time holding him off the sheep. The cross drive distance was a little bit of a struggle but the sheep were moving right a long, which helped. We timed out at the pen, we should have had plenty of time. We lacked finesse. We scored a 58 and finished 21st in a class of 47 dogs. It was probably the best first run we have had, typically he is very pushy and I have a hard time holding him on our first runs.
Our Nursery run later that day was very typical of us a solid 70 and a class win. I had a hard time keeping him off again, but better then the Open run. He was super pushy and I thought about wrapping my crook around his neck as we turned to post, we lost too many points on out work. Still wavy lines, but better. He was much more comfortable with the drive distances. He got a bit squirrely at the drive away panel and took the wrong flank twice, screwed up the 5 steps before the panel. I hit him with a hard correction and he settled down and we fixed it and made the panel. The pressure was hard to release at that bit.
Day 2: First dog on the field for Nursery class win score 73. Just a real team effort, he was forward, soft and supple to work and stayed back off the sheep. Nice nice out work, good drive away line nice first 2/3 of the cross drive line, got wavy towards the end.
Our Open run was a tough go. We went late in the day and the sheep were pretty much done playing. The set ended up breaking back and getting up almost in the corner after I had sent Z. He he covered them and brought them down the field. The judge decided to take no points off for our out run and lift instead of giving us a rerun because he got control of the sheep nicely. We struggled like heck trying to get them back on line, the draw was tough to the come bye side and his weakness showed. The drive away was ok he kept trying to head them because they were trying to break for the exhaust. The cross drive was alright, but at the 3/4 mark the sheep started to really lean on him and they ended up stopping and looking at him. He walked in on every whistle, pretty much backed them up the hill and through the gate. They pretty much went into the pen with out a whole lot of cajoling. At this point a nearly peed my pants, we were going to get a shot at shedding. Moved the sheep calmly to the shedding ring. I saw a hole, but we weren't quite in the ring. Then the sheep lined up , we got a small hole and Z came through like his tail was on fire. He aimed for behind me, but turned briefly on the front group that was breaking for the exhaust. I called him here and he turned quick to the correct group and held them. So big praises for the puppy.
Day 3: Our Nursery run was gorgeous! He over ran a bit, but lifted nicely albeit a tad crooked. We actually put the sheep back on the line right away and lost very little on the fetch, the drive was like and arrow. We scored a 68 with no pen. It was my fault entirely. I knew we were short on time so I tried to hail Mary the pen and I should have been more patient. The sheep got away and Z recovered them, but time was called before we had another shot.
We have a lot of stuff to work on! I need to figure out why I am losing 1-2 points on our out run. I think we are a little flat and a stride too short on both sides although the sheep lift strait 95% of the time.Must sort out what is going on in our out run. Have to, have to have, clean up the comebye flank. Must also work on penning sheep that don't want to go in. I am not going to work on too much driving distance for a while.
I am so pleased with my dog's effort. He's going to get a small vacation before we start practicing up for our trip to SD.
Ruminating on Letting Go
1 week ago